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Cheney students travel to Seattle to listen to sports medicine experts


Seven Cheney High School student athletic trainers in sports medicine instructor Kyle Loughery’s program got to hear from the pros about real-life experiences of those involved in sports medicine at a Sept. 23 symposium sponsored by the Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawks.

Oh yes – they also took in a baseball game.

“Athletic Trainers for Athletes Night” was a collaboration between the two Seattle teams and the Washington Career and Technical Sports Medicine Association, a student-led organization charged to “introduce students to a variety of sports medicine professions and prepare them for success,” according to the association’s mission statement.

Over 500 students took part in the two and a half hour symposium, held in the bleachers at Safeco Field as the Mariners took batting practice below in preparation for their game with Kansas City. Students heard from a variety of experts, including Mariners’ trainer Rick Griffin and Dr. Stan Herring, team physician for the Mariners and Seahawks as well as a clinical professor in the University of Washington Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, and Neurological Surgery.

According to his biography, Herring is also director of Sports, Spine and Orthopedic Health for UW Medicine and co-medical director of the Seattle Sports Concussion Program, a partnership between UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s. He specializes in non-operative musculoskeletal and sports medicine, with a particular interest in disorders of the spine and sports concussion, and was a major contributor to the successful passage of the Zackery Lystedt Law in the state.

Students were exposed to a variety of sports medicine topics such as concussions and nutrition in professional sports, as well as getting first-hand accounts on a day in the life of a sports trainer.

“They talked about a regular day in the training field,” Cheney junior Marissa May said. “Which is cool because we never get to hear about that.”

For Danielle Meredith, not only was the discussion new but also so was watching batting practice. It was the first time Meredith has ever been to a baseball game.

“I kept asking this other girl, ‘what are they doing?’ and she said ‘I don’t know either,’” she said.

Meredith said Hering told the group that he doesn’t get to see his family much during the sports seasons, getting about one week off in that stretch. The Cheney junior said she is thinking about a profession in the medical field, but not sports medicine, and said it was an eye-opener to see how many people are involved with the team.

“I thought that was important, to see how it all goes together,” she said.

Jamie Bradley is on the same page as Meredith about a career choice, something in medicine but not with sports. The junior said it was interesting to hear about some of the challenges trainers face, including how they deal with concussions and what some of the effects of that injury are.

Senior Tristan Davenport said he took Loughery’s class not because he was interested in sports medicine but because he needed a class to meet his course minimum. He’s since decided he might look more closely at a career in the field, noting how a strength and conditioning coach who spoke at the symposium talked about the importance of pre-game preparation.

“There’s a lot of reasons for that work,” Davenport said. “It brings good outcomes.”

Loughery said the student athletic trainer aides who made the trip were “leaders” in the Cheney program.

“The goal of the class is not only to create leadership opportunities, but also see what’s really out there,” Loughery said.

John McCallum can be reached at


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